HISTORY

 

History

Maris Stella School opened its door in 1957 with an enrollment of 186 from grade one to grade six, and a staff of two sisters of the order of the Maryknoll from the U.S. and six Palauan lay teachers.  Sister Katherine George Razwad was the first principal.      

Grades one through six occupied part of the parish hall and an old quoin-set hut, and later lower Maris Stella, formerly used as Mindszenty School.  Subjects taught were reading, spelling, math, Palauan, social studies, and religion.  Students whose families lived outside of Koror (Babeldaob and Youldaob) lived with relatives in Koror, to enable them to receive a Catholic elementary education.

In 1960, the Mercederian Sisters of Berriz, a Spanish Order, took over the administration of the school. Sister Angelica Salaverria, MMB became the principal of the school and in the succeeding years other Mercederian sisters, Sr. Margaret George, Sr. Bertha Salazar, Sr. Martha Ramarui, Sr. Jacinta Marcil, Sr. Isabel Seman, Sr. Betty Ann Preston, became principals of the school.  In 1982, Felix Okabe became the first Palauan layman to become principal of the school.  In 2012, Thelma Remengesau became the principal and in 2016, Lorenza Olkeriil became the principal.

In 1958, the first graduating class of grade six made up of 29 students, 15 girls and 14 boys.  Grade seven and eight were added in school year 1963-1964.  In 1965, the first Grade eight graduation, made up of 40 students, 23 girls and 17 boys.  

In 1965 a two storey concrete building was built to accommodate the increased enrollment.  This building is behind Sacred Heart Church.  In 1995, additional building was built for the kindergarten students with a restroom facility and indoor play space.  In 2001, the large indoor play area of the building for the kindergarten was renovated to be used for the school's library and offices for the accounting and the registrar.

 

 

 

Ave Maris Stella (Star of the Sea) - Hymn

Ave Maris Stella, Dei Mater alma,
Atque semper Virgo, Felix caeli porta.
Sumens illud Ave, Gabrielis ore,
Funda nos in pace, Mutans Hevae nomen.
Solve vincla reis, Profer lumen caecis,
Mala nostra pelle, Bona cuncta posce.
Monstra te esse matrem, Sumat per te preces,
Qui pro nobis natus, Tulit esse tuus.
Virgo singularis, Inter omnes mitis,
Nos culpis solutos, Mites fac et castos.
Vitam praesta puram, Iter para tutum,
Ut videntes Jesum, Semper collaetemur.
Sit laus Deo Patri, Summo Christo decus,
Spiritui Sancto, Tribus honor unus. 

Amen

Latin Translation of the Hymn: 
Ave Maris Stella

Ave, Star of ocean,
Child divine who barest, 
Mother, ever Virgin,
Heaven's portal fairest.

Taking that sweet Ave
Erst by Gabriel spoken,
Eva's, name reversing,
Be of peace the token.

Break the sinners' fetters,
Light to blind restoring,
All our ills dispelling,
Every boon imploring.

Show thyself a Mother
In thy supplication;
He will hear who chose thee
At His Incarnation.

Maid all maids excelling,
Passing meek and lowly,
Win for sinners pardon,
Make us chaste and holy.

As we onward journey
Aid our weak endeavor,
Till we gaze on Jesus 
And rejoice forever.

Father, Son, and Spirit,
Three in One confessing,
Give we equal glory
Equal praise and blessing.

Amen. 

And the virgin's name, wrote Luke, was Mary. Let us speak of this name for a few moments. It is said to mean "star of the sea," a name applied most appropriately to the Virgin Mary. She is compared most aptly to a star. As a star emits its rays without loss of its essential nature, so the Virgin Mary without loss of her virginity, brings forth her Son. Neither do the rays lessen the brightness of the star, nor the Son the inviolateness of the Virgin. She is the glorious star which rose our of Jacob, whose rays light up the whole world, whose brilliance gleams in heaven, penetrates to hell. She floods the whole earth with her light, warms minds rather than bodies, fosters virtues, melts away sins. She, I say, is that brilliant shining star lifted in nature above this vast and boundless sea, gleaming with merits, enlightening by her example.


         Whoever you are, when you find yourself tossed by storms and tempests upon this world's raging water's, rather than walking upon firm dry land, never take your eyes from the brightness of this star lest you be overwhelmed by the storm. When the winds of temptation blow, when you run upon the rocks of disaster, look to the star. Cry out to Mary! If you are cast away upon the waves of pride or ambition of detraction or jealousy, look to the star. Cry out to Mary! When anger, avarice, or the lusts of the flesh assail the ship of your mind, look up to Mary. When you are worried by the enormity of your sins, troubled by a confused conscience, or terrified by the horrors of the judgment to come, when you begin to drown in the bottomless pit of sorrow or sink in the abyss of despair, think of Mary.

         In danger, in difficulties, in doubts, think of Mary. Call upon Mary! Never let her name be absent from your lips or absent from your heart. If you would obtain the help of her prayers, do not neglect to follow the example of her conduct. If you follow her, you will not stray; if you pray to her, you need not despair. If you think of her, you will not err; sustained by her, you need not fear; guided by her, you will walk without weariness. If she smiles upon you, you will succeed. You will experience in your own heart with what justice it is said: and the Virgin's name was Mary. The Roman Pontiff, Innocent XI, ordered the feast of this most venerable name, which special devotion in certain parts of Christendom, be celebrated annually by the universal Church. This feast was to be a perpetual memorial to that great deliverance of the Christian people, won through the intercession of Mary help of Christians, form the inhuman tyranny of the Turks who trampled upon their necks--that remarkable victory won at Vienna in Austria.